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Tetrapod Zoology

Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinct
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    Darren Naish Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK). He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod. His publications can be downloaded at He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at!

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  • De Loys’ Ape and what to do with it

    Ameranthropoides imagined as a 'real' platyrrhine primate: image by C. M. Kosemen, from the 2013 book Cryptozoologicon Volume I (Conway et al. 2013).

    Purely because the time feels about right, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the cryptozoology-themed book that John Conway, Memo Kosemen and myself published last year – Cryptozoologicon Volume I (Conway et al. 2013). The book is still available for purchase here; previously featured excerpts are linked to at the bottom of this article, [...]

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    The events of TetZooCon 2014

    ALL THE PALAEOPLUSHIES, SQUEEE. Buy them from Rebecca Groom.

    The world’s very first Tetrapod Zoology Convention – we’re calling it TetZooCon – happened on Saturday 12th July, and what fun it was. Our venue: the London Wetland Centre, a Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust conservation park officially opened in 2000 and situated in Barnes, west London. I’m curious to know whether this is the first [...]

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    We’re all away, at TetZooCon

    Squamozoic scene at left (featuring corvaxid chamaeleoniform and chalarodont) by Raven Amos.

    Things here at Tet Zoo will be quiet for a while since I’m preparing for, or away at, TetZooCon, the first ever Tetrapod Zoology-themed convention. Booking is now closed, but you can read about the schedule here. We have a set of talks on diverse zoological topics (including herpetology, wildlife photography, vertebrate palaeontology, historical primatology, [...]

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    Choeropotamids — better known than you thought, perhaps

    Anthracobundon model by xxx; image by DagdaMor, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

    Let’s face it, there’s an extraordinary number of fairly obscure Paleogene artiodactyl groups that are only familiar if you’re a specialist. I’ve recently had the enjoyable task of writing about all of them for a major in-progress book project (details to come), and today I’d thought I’d share text on one – just one – [...]

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    Where did all these Phorusrhacos come from?

    Phorusrhacos models at various outdoor attractions. All images by Darren Naish except one at bottom left, by Colleen Blue.

    If, as I have, you’ve spent copious time wandering the British countryside, visiting amusement parks and visitor attractions that feature life-sized ‘prehistoric animals’, you’ll surely have seen all those Phorusrhacos* models. Look, here’s a little montage I made… * You might have seen the name Phorusrhacos written as Phororhacos (and Phorusrhacidae written as Phororhacidae). The former [...]

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    Duikers once more

    Common duiker in profile; image in public domain.

    Time for another classic from the archives. This article originally appeared on Tet Zoo ver 2 back in August 2008 (my god… about six years ago), and appears here in tweaked, updated form. Duikers or cephalophines are an entirely African group of bovids, and so far as we know they have never gotten out of [...]

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    TetZooCon 2014: last call!

    One of Rebecca Groom's newest Palaeoplushies -- can you guess what it is? Buy one at TetZooCon!

    Are you interested in the evolution and diversity of tetrapods? In dinosaurs? Pterosaurs? Herpetology, mammalogy, wildlife photography, palaeoart? In speculative zoology, cryptozoology or arcane historical zoology? The answer is surely yes, and, seeing as it is, you very probably need to BOOK NOW for TetZooCon 2014, the world’s first-ever Tetrapod Zoology Convention. It’s being held [...]

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    Katrina van Grouw’s The Unfeathered Bird, a unique inside look

    Katrina, Great bustard skeleton, and her drawing of it. You may recognise that the bustard has been posed in its characteristic display posture. This image comes from Tim Birkhead's site Bird Sense.

    If you pay any attention to the world of zoological research (as you will do, given that you’re reading a blog called Tetrapod Zoology), you’ll know that the study of anatomy has very much come to the fore in recent years. Previously bemoaned as a Victorian pursuit that had had its day and was inferior [...]

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    Passerine birds fight dirty, a la Velociraptor

    Battling Great tits (Parus major). I don't know the name of the photographer but will add it when I find out.

    No time to finish anything new, gah. In desperation, here’s a classic article from the Tet Zoo archives, originally published in March 2009. It has some minor updates. I used to receive random unsolicited emails from an individual who strongly promoted the idea that birds could not not not not be dinosaurs, that the entire [...]

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    Seals, the early years


    It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… stem-pinnipeds at Tet Zoo. Or, probable stem-pinnipeds anyway. This minimum-effort post is brought to you on the back of work showing that pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) are monophyletic, not diphyletic, and that the taxa shown here – Potamotherium, Puijila and so on – really are [...]

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